The battle for Madrid continues on Wednesday between Real and Atletico, but this time it’s on the north end at Santiago Bernabeu. These teams grueled to a 0-0 stalemate in the first leg, although there were plenty of fireworks to go around, whether it being chances on net or via punches to the gut.
The biggest news going into this match is the injury status of Mario Mandzukic, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema. Mandzukic is doubtful with an ankle injury that has been bugging him and held him out of Atletico’s weekend contest. Bale sustained a calf injury over the weekend and will be out for up to three weeks for Real. Also, Modric is out, but Benzema should be a go.
Both teams have plenty of guys to fill in, but losing starters, especially a couple of your best, is never easy.
Antoine Griezmann was the lead striker in Atletico’s 2-1 win at Deportivo la Coruña on Saturday and he bagged two goals in the opening 22 minutes. Meanwhile, Bale picked up his injury in the fifth minute of Real’s 3-1 win against Malaga and was replaced by Javier Hernandez, a much different player. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of lineup Carlo Ancelotti goes with to start, especially if Benzema can’t go.
Even at the Bernabeu for Real Madrid, this is by no means a sure thing. In fact, it hasn’t been since last year’s Copa del Rey that Real has beaten Atletico Madrid at home. In their last seven meetings, Atletico has won four and drawn three of them.
Champions League quarterfinal second leg
Wednesday, April 22
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
2:45 p.m. Eastern Time
8:45 p.m. local time
Fox Sports 1 (US) / NOW TV (UK) / C + (Spain); For those looking for the channel in your home country, click here
It’s hard to see Atletico winning this game, but then again those words were said before in previous meetings, in which the underdog won. But if Mandzukic can’t go, who will step up? Griezmann or even Fernando Torres? The edge goes to Real Madrid, but no one should be surprised if they fall. Real Madrid 1-0.
Stats You Need to Know (from UCL)
Scouting Real Madrid
Scouting Atletico Madrid